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In this section

Past Exhibitions


Other Past Exhibitions

Art & Design Graduating Student Exhibition 2014
Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket
Big Data - Telling Human Stories Through Numbers
CHROMA: Master of Fine Arts in Illustration Visual Thesis Exhibition
Dreams Lived, Dreams Shattered
Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s
A Queer History of Fashion
Alphabetical List
Online Exhibition Directory
2012-13 Exhibitions
2011-12 Exhibitions
2010-11 Exhibitions
2009-10 Exhibitions
2008-09 Exhibitions


CHROMA: Master of Fine Arts in Illustration
Visual Thesis Exhibition

Gallery FIT
June 7 - July 5, 2014

On display in CHROMA are concrete expressions of the individual talents of the 2014 graduating class that offer a window on the expanding multi-media environment in which these emerging artists will work in the 21st century.  E-books, animation, set designs, graphic novels all serve the stories they seek to tell: a Trinidadian folk tale, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, stories that explore gender and race, and stories about amusement parks, cats and even a dog who goes to Hollywood. Through the talent of these students, and the skills they have mastered in the program, very diverse and often personal stories come vibrantly to life.


Art & Design Graduating Student Exhibition 2014

Gallery FIT and elsewhere
May 7 - 22, 2014

This show presented the work of more than 800 students receiving AAS and BFA degrees from the School of Art & Design. The exhibition featured work in seventeen areas of study - Accessories Design, Advertising Design, Communication Design, Computer Animation & Interactive Media, Fabric Styling, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Packaging Design, Photography, Textile/Surface Design, Toy Design, and Visual Presentation & Exhibition Design.

The art selected was the culmination of each student’s unique experience in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s diverse, challenging, and demanding undergraduate Art & Design programs. Featuring juried, award winning, and thesis projects, this presentation was the manifestation of several years of research, experimentation, critical thinking, and artistic proficiency.

The Graduating Student Exhibition advances the College’s applied philosophy that integrates practice in industry with theory and teaching inside the studio.

""Camouflage print silk dress, 2002.15.1, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Spring 2001, France, Museum Purchase.


Fashion & Textile History Gallery
December 3, 2013 - April 30, 2014
Online Exhibition

Trend-ology examined the vast array of sources from which fashion trends have developed over the past 250 years. Trends have emerged from high fashion runways and urban street style, but they have also derived from art, music, novels, and socio-political movements. Particular trends change every season, but the phenomenon of the trend has come to define the modern fashion system itself.

The word “trend” first arose as an economic term, used to describe shifts in financial markets. Today, “trend” appears on the cover of almost every fashion magazine each month, and seemingly anything can be said to be “trending” on Twitter and other social media websites. Trend-forecasting companies such as WGSN have made researching and predicting trends a profitable business, and are now integral to the fashion industry. Yet as we move further into the 21st century, specific trends seem increasingly hard to define. The advent of fast-fashion, the internet, and social media have created a global environment where fashion trends emerge and disseminate in faster and more complex ways than ever before. By looking back at the multifaceted and dynamic history of trends, Trend-ology aims to help visitors gain insight into the current state of the trend cycle.

Curated by Emma McClendon and Ariele Elia, the exhibition featured over 100 objects from the Museum’s costume, accessory, and textile collections. Themes highlighted include 18th-century court dress, the rise of the couturier in 19th-century Paris, hip hop fashion, and more recent developments related to blogging, fast fashion, and social-media networking. The show features designs by Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Rei Kawakubo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, and Opening Ceremony, to name a few.

Read more about Trend-ology!

""Wood Carlson Co., tailcoat, black wool, 1935, USA, gift of Kay Kerr Uebel, 89.65.9
Gown, metallic, silk, circa 1935, USA, gift of Mrs. Jessie L. Hill, 93.71.12

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s 

Special Exhibitions Gallery
February 7 - April 19, 2014
Online Exhibition

Despite a dire financial and political environment, the 1930s was a period of great stylistic achievement and technical innovation in design. In contrast to the preceding Edwardian era - in which stiff, structured clothes dominated high fashion – 1930s garments were softer, minimally ornamented, elegantly proportioned, and reflected the streamlined art moderne aesthetic. Presenting both men’s and women’s fashions, Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s celebrates some of the most innovative and beautifully designed clothing made in the twentieth century.

Elegance in an Age of Crisis revealed the grand transformation that took place in women’s and men’s fashion. A synthesis of cutting-edge technology and the finest hand-craftsmanship was necessary to forge a truly modern aesthetic in clothing. Significant advances in dressmaking and tailoring techniques helped achieve truly “modern” clothing, one that allowed for movement and highlighted the “natural,” well-proportioned, and classically idealized body. Technical innovations in textile production transformed what was possible for designers: wider width fabrics, for example, gave dressmakers a means to rethink and refine draping techniques, while featherweight textiles lent garments new suppleness and flexibility. Even the look and feel of many sports clothes, such as swimwear, underwent profound change due to the creation of new synthetic materials.

The look of the 1930s was an international phenomenon. Menswear tailoring innovations in London and Naples paralleled breakthroughs in haute couture draping in Paris as well as custom design in New York, Havana, and Shanghai. Hollywood, too, played a role in defining and popularizing this glamorous new look. Clothing made in these cities for clients from the United States, Latin American, Europe, and Asia is on view in the exhibition.

This exhibition was organized by Patricia Mears, deputy director of The Museum at FIT, and G. Bruce Boyer, leading menswear writer and editor. A publication accompanies the exhibition, edited by exhibition curator Patricia Mears and published by Yale University Press.

Learn more on the exhibition page.

""Schott, Perfecto jacket, black leather, circa 1980, USA. Museum purchase, P89.29.1 © Eileen Costa

Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket

Gallery FIT
March 4 - April 5, 2014
Online Exhibition

Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket examined high fashion interpretations of the black leather motorcycle jacket. Organized by graduate students in FIT’s Fashion and Textile Studies program, the exhibition explores the many forms this utilitarian garment has taken, from countercultural wardrobe staple to avant-garde statement piece. The exhibition features garments from labels such as Comme des Garcons, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rick Owens, and Gianni Versace, emphasizing the biker jacket's continuing influence on high fashion. 

Read more about Beyond Rebellion


Big Data – Telling Human Stories Through Numbers

FIT Media Club
Gallery FIT
January 25 - February 8, 2014

Big Data – Telling Human Stories Through Numbers explored the world of data, information, and numbers through artistic vision. The works included were a response to the changing world of the Information Age that we are living in. Instead of using the power of information for political or business-oriented goals, designers and artists in this exhibition used results of their quantitative research to tell the their stories.

The Media Design Club at FIT (MDC) was established in 2009 by Prof. C. J. Yeh from the Communication Design Department. It brings together students interested in digital media together outside of the traditional classroom setting. Currently, MDC has over 200 members from Communication Design (AAS), Graphic Design (BFA), Advertising Design (BFA), Computer Graphics (BFA), and Illustration (AAS) programs. It is one of the most active student clubs at FIT.

""Butch Chanel, Wigstock, NYC, 1992. Photograph by Michael James O'Brien c.2013.

A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk 

Special Exhibitions Gallery
September 13, 2013 - January 4, 2014

Visit the Exhibition Website
See the exhibition Facebook page.

From Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, many of the greatest fashion designers of the past century have been gay. Indeed, it is widely believed that most male fashion designers are gay.  Is this just a stereotype? Or do gay men really have a special relationship with fashion? To what extent have lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people also made significant contributions to fashion? Fashion and style have played an important role within the LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer) community, both pre- and post-Stonewall, and even as early as the eighteenth century. Yet surprisingly little has been researched about high fashion as a site of gay cultural production.  

A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk sought to explore the “gayness” or “queerness” of fashion by drawing attention to the historic presence of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender and other “queer” people in the fashion system. The exhibition also looked at the creativity and resistance to oppression expressed by LGBTQ subcultural styles.  

Curated by Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, with exhibition design by award-winning architect Joel Sanders, the exhibition featured approximately 100 ensembles spanning more than a century of fashion. Organized in roughly chronological order, the exhibition explored the history of modern fashion through the lens of gay and lesbian life and culture, addressing subjects including androgyny, dandyism, idealizing and transgressive aesthetic styles, and the influence of subcultural and street styles, including drag, leather, and uniforms.

The exhibition was accompanied by a symposium (November 8-9, 2013) and a scholarly, multi-author book published by Yale University Press, as well as a free public lecture series, exhibition tours, and an educational website, with the goal of helping to foster a climate of inclusion for those who have often been marginalized due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gendered expression. The exhibition and programs were supported by The Diversity Council of FIT. Special thanks to the Advisory Committee.

Read more about the exhibition.


Dreams Lived, Dreams Shattered: MLK, JFK 50 years later
Work of MFA Illustration Students and Faculty

Gallery FIT
November 9 - December 7, 2013

Students and faculty of the MFA in Illustration program at FIT visually reflect on the 50th anniversary of two seminal events in American History.

Norman Norell Norman Norell, dress, red wool crepe and satin, 1962, USA, gift of Claudia Halley.


Fashion and Textile History Gallery
May 22 - November 16, 2013
Visit the exhibition page or the online exhibition for more info and images.

RetroSpective explored fashion’s relationship with its own history. The speed of the fashion cycle is faster than ever, and yet, in the constant drive for newness, the past is often used as a point of reference. Many contemporary designers embrace looking back at fashion history as a fundamental part of the design process. In doing so, they create inventive and modern re-interpretations of everything from crinolines to “flapper” dresses. As cutting-edge designer Yohji Yamamoto once said, “Going to the future means you have to use your past.”

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